Michael Peroski is in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Peroski, a junior at Allegheny College in Meadville, is studying abroad at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
After giving a presentation on work he had done regarding an issue in bioethics, Peroski was approached by the director of the study aboard program at Allegheny College, who suggested he look into the opportunity.
"I started learning more about Oxford and I thought it would be great to go to one of the oldest universities and get the university experience, having just college experience here," explained Peroski. "So that was the reason why I went."
Peroski arrived at Oxford in October, and is currently on spring break until April. Once he returns to Oxford, he will not be back in the United States until the end of June.
The set-up of the university is unique compared to most others.
"They have a broad university structure and a little over 30 colleges," said Peroski, "so I'm a member of St. Peter's College, and most of my studying and social time is spent at St. Peters."
"Each student is not only a university member, but is also a member or a particular college," he added.
At Allegheny College, he is pursuing a double major in biochemistry and philosophy. At Oxford University, he is studying philosophy and economics.
"This term, I'm going to do some work with a professor on human enhancement," said Peroski.
Of his favorite experiences, "traveling and traveling with friends" ranked high, he said.
Peroski visited and toured Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, which was about 20 minutes outside of Oxford. He also traveled to Ireland.
Peroski described walking around as "odd, because buildings here, that are the centerpiece of towns often, are structurally built in 1700. Over there, they're just the traditional buildings."
The libraries were also a huge draw.
"The libraries are amazing and huge," said Peroski. "That's been a great experience for me because I enjoy reading."
The teaching style is that of medieval tradition, said Peroski, where a master would teach what they learned based on what the older traditions did.
"They have a tutorial structure, so each course you take, you take with one tutor," he said. "Depending on the tutor's preferences and you, you might be with two or three other students."
One paper a week is written, read aloud and critiqued on the spot by the teacher.
"It's different in the sense that there are no classes, at least for philosophy and economics," said Peroski. "The closest you come to a class is they have non-required lectures."
The students are graded on work done in the tutorial, and how they think they would perform on an exam.
Peroski has spent the past two summers doing internships, which he feels enabled him to go to Oxford.
The first internship was at the University of Pennsylvania, where he did a project involving human and non-human kimeras being possible replacements for stem cells.
"Had I not done that, I never would have ended up doing the presentation, which led to me learning about Oxford," said Peroski.
The second internship was with the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., where he worked on a stem cell policy.
Peroski was able to study oversees with financial aid and a grant from Allegheny College, covering various trip expenses. He also credits his family for their support and guidance throughout the process.
After college graduation, Peroski hopes to study public health at the graduate level.